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The Perfect World >> Domestic Sphere >> Baking

Baking

CalGal -- Thursday, July 04, 2002 -- 07:35:57 PM

How-tos, tips, recipes.

This thread is tagged: cooking, baking, cake
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Alice CK -- Wednesday, January 14, 2004 -- 03:40:50 AM -- 2216 of 13465
the glass in the toilet is quite a pretty blue

Oh, I should also mention that that pumpkin muffin recipe says to set the oven at 400, which I did, but the tops of the muffins were over-browned. Another time I would go with the more common oven temp of 350.

CalGal -- Wednesday, January 14, 2004 -- 05:59:12 AM -- 2217 of 13465
I remember a time, back in the late 90s, when I thought nonsense like this mattered somewhat more than I do now. Now I see well-educated people yammering about the birth control choices of their daughters, or gay marriage, and I think they are morons.

I don't remember browning the butter. I wonder if I linked in a different recipe?

Alizarin -- Saturday, January 17, 2004 -- 06:52:36 AM -- 2218 of 13465
Singles rule the world, feeding on fresh blood

I need a baking post mortem, please.

Of eight layers of dobosh torte that I just baked (and baked and baked and baked-- I use only one rack in the oven and do one layer at a time), two came out with the expected texture-- kind of dryish, but cake. The other six are crispy-- the crumbs taste a lot like good fortune cookies, actually.

All eight layers came from one batch of batter. They were baked in the same oven, at the same temperature, on the same rack. They all went into the oven on aluminum foil on a cool-to-cold cookie sheet (I rinse the sheets as I recycle them from layer to layer, so even if they sit they're at most room temperature, not warm).

The two that worked were neither the first two nor the last two to bake. They weren't the least baked (lightest brown) nor the most baked (darkest brown). They weren't the thickest, though they were thicker than most (not all) of the others. But I've made this recipe before with ridiculously thin layers (i.e., barely covering the aluminum foil they're baked on), and the layers have always come out as cake.

One of the eight layers was baked on butter-and-floured aluminum foil rather than Mazola-sprayed-and-floured, and another one (or was it the same?) was on lighter weight aluminum foil than the other seven. I'm not sure if either of the cake layers was on the butter and/or the thinner foil.

So. What happened?

Curie Tournesol -- Saturday, January 17, 2004 -- 11:45:15 PM -- 2219 of 13465
They are better than stars or water/Better than voices of winds that sing/Better than any man's fair daughter/ Your green glass beads on a silver ring.

The two that worked were neither the first two nor the last two to bake. They weren't the least baked (lightest brown) nor the most baked (darkest brown). They weren't the thickest, though they were thicker than most (not all) of the others.

This sounds like one of those logic puzzles.

I've never baked a dobosh torte, so this is all speculation on my part. I'd guess that the fat-and-flour layer wouldn't affect baking, but the foil might if oven temperature and baking time are critical for the texture you're looking for. My only other guess would be variation in oven temperature as you were opening and closing the door. Did you make sure to let the oven come back up to temperature? Maybe it was running too hot for the other layers?

I'd suggest getting a kitchen scale and oven thermometer (although it strikes me as very strange that thicker layers than the two good ones were too dry). Off the top of my head, it definitely sounds like an overbaking problem, and since it sounds as though you carefully monitored everything else, oven temperature is the culprit.

JennyD -- Saturday, January 17, 2004 -- 11:49:12 PM -- 2220 of 13465

Gas oven or electric, Alizarin? Gas ovens cycle on and off and can heat unevenly.

Alizarin -- Sunday, January 18, 2004 -- 12:13:02 AM -- 2221 of 13465
Singles rule the world, feeding on fresh blood

Gas.

I already use a thermometer, and the temperature was correct. Since I used the same process for each of the eight layers (stick it in the oven, turn it halfway through, remove layer A and replace it with layer B and repeat), I doubt that there would be opening-the-door issues on only two of the eight since the open-door time was consistent across the whole batch.

I judged layer doneness by the color of the cake, and the ones that worked weren't the most done (I cheated and cut a too-dark edge off of one crunchy layer) nor the least-- two of the crunchy layers really could have used another minute or so in the oven (they stuck to the foil). I didn't even realize that there was a problem until everything had cooled-- coming off of the foil, they all handled pretty much the same-- maybe the correct layers were a tad harder to peel the foil from.

I really appreciate the help.

Marya -- Sunday, January 18, 2004 -- 12:34:25 AM -- 2222 of 13465
You are the Proust of TPW, and we all prefer J.K. Rowling. -j. ross

I hope the cake turned out edible anyway? It does sound like a mystery.

Alizarin -- Sunday, January 18, 2004 -- 01:09:56 AM -- 2223 of 13465
Singles rule the world, feeding on fresh blood

Going to find out tonight.

It really frosts me to spend this much time on something _that I've done before without a problem_ and not have it turn out.

Fiksu -- Tuesday, January 20, 2004 -- 03:23:30 AM -- 2224 of 13465

In honor of a certain upcoming one-year birthday I decided to make cupcakes tonight. And then, for no good reason, I decided to make devil's food cake cupcakes, with a regular dfc recipe (Cook's Illustrated's). Well, "disaster" would be going a bit too far, but they're definitely not a success. They deflated and got oily on the bottom. (Although they are miraculously light, almost delicate.)

So, I guess I shouldn't have counted on a regular cake recipe to make good cupcakes. But can anyone tell me why? What's the difference between your standard cupcake recipe and your standard cake recipe? Cupcake recipes would seem to need more heft, in terms of flour, I'm guessing.

Marya -- Tuesday, January 20, 2004 -- 04:13:38 AM -- 2225 of 13465
You are the Proust of TPW, and we all prefer J.K. Rowling. -j. ross

Huh. All the cookbooks I've ever seen have claimed a good cake recipe (for a good light-textured American cake, anyway) should make good cupcakes. Could you maybe have overgreased the pans, or something? Did you do them in muffin cups?

JennyD -- Tuesday, January 20, 2004 -- 04:16:55 AM -- 2226 of 13465

Could there have been too much oil/liquid, Fiksu? It almost sounds like a measurement was wrong -- what my grandmother calls a "sad" cake.

Fiksu -- Tuesday, January 20, 2004 -- 04:17:02 AM -- 2227 of 13465

Muffin cups. No greasing involved. I was taking the recipe on faith and haven't ever used it before as a cake. But it's CI and I followed it to the letter.

Oh... one other important bit of information I forgot to add: The Piglet demanded her late night snack while they were in the oven, so I asked my husband to keep an eye on them. And I heard the oven door opening and closing rather more than I thought necessary. Hm.

Edit: Possible I got a liquid measurement wrong... but I can't seem to think of one. They are very sad-looking. But tasty.

JennyD -- Tuesday, January 20, 2004 -- 04:19:14 AM -- 2228 of 13465

Maybe they just fell, then. As long as they're tasty, I say blame Piglet's daddy, throw some frosting on, and call it a day.

Fiksu -- Tuesday, January 20, 2004 -- 04:21:50 AM -- 2229 of 13465

And that's what we'll do, then! They're almost too rich for frosting, but they could use perkier tops.

Lorelei -- Tuesday, January 20, 2004 -- 02:34:43 PM -- 2230 of 13465
Trust the force and never keep receipts. -Kate D.

Last night I tried the brownie recipe on the Baker's unsweetened chocolate box, and was very disappointed. The brownies were a much lighter color than brownies ought to be, and they didn't taste fudgy. (They were actually similar to a travesty my mom makes called Iowa brownies.) They were slightly overcooked, but I don't think that fully explains it. The only other thing I can think of is that maybe my flour got packed down. But I am probably going to stay prejudiced against the recipe and look for another one, that's dark and gooey as brownies ought to be.

Babylon Sister -- Tuesday, January 20, 2004 -- 02:42:35 PM -- 2231 of 13465

I don't like dark gooey brownies. I like those lighter, drier, cakier ones. And I will never understand the idea that one must put frosting on a brownie. Blech.

CalGal -- Tuesday, January 20, 2004 -- 04:35:58 PM -- 2232 of 13465
I remember a time, back in the late 90s, when I thought nonsense like this mattered somewhat more than I do now. Now I see well-educated people yammering about the birth control choices of their daughters, or gay marriage, and I think they are morons.

Lorelei, I really love the Joy of Cooking recipe, and I find it very dark and gooey.

Lorelei -- Tuesday, January 20, 2004 -- 04:53:26 PM -- 2233 of 13465
Trust the force and never keep receipts. -Kate D.

Excellent. I got Joy of Cooking for Christmas, so I'll try that recipe next.

CalGal -- Tuesday, January 20, 2004 -- 04:55:14 PM -- 2234 of 13465
I remember a time, back in the late 90s, when I thought nonsense like this mattered somewhat more than I do now. Now I see well-educated people yammering about the birth control choices of their daughters, or gay marriage, and I think they are morons.

I have the old JoC, and I know they altered some recipes. So if it doesn't have 4 eggs, a lot of butter, and just a little flour, let me know.

Lila Jones -- Tuesday, January 20, 2004 -- 06:28:23 PM -- 2235 of 13465

BabSis, you confuse me. This:

I don't like dark gooey brownies. I like those lighter, drier, cakier ones.

is completely bizarre and wrong. But this:

And I will never understand the idea that one must put frosting on a brownie. Blech.

is wise and true.

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The Perfect World >> Domestic Sphere >> Baking